From Central Europe, Asia and Africa on 27 July 2018 you may observe a special event of the century: The longest total lunar eclipse! At about 8:30 pm* the full moon enters the core shadow of the earth and is completely darkened between 9:30 pm* and 11:15 pm*. With 104 minutes, the upcoming lunar eclipse is the longest of the 21st century so far. Because of the refraction of the sunlight in the earth's atmosphere a reddish color of the moon is possible. Around 00:20 am* the moon emerges again from the core shadow.
In the same night, two other peculiarities occur: The full moon will be the smallest of this year, because it is located 406,220 kilometers away at the most remote point. And Mars is in opposition, which means that the earth overtakes the redplanetand also puts it in its shadow. To the south of the moon, Mars will be easy to spot strikingly bright and close.
What happens during a lunar eclipse?
In a lunar eclipse, the moon wanders through the shadow that the earth throws into space by the illumination of the sun. If the moon, the sun and the earth lie on a straight line, this event can happen. A distinction is made between the core shadow, where the sunlight on the moon is completely obscured by the earth, and the partial shade, in which the sun is only partially covered.